Jessene (also known as Wesfolk Leader, Lady Outlaw, Lady Jessene, and Queen Jessene) was the husband of Haldric I and first royal consort of Wesnoth. She was born into nobility as a princess of the Wesfolk. During the time of peace between the Wesfolk and the Green Isle kingdoms, she was the navigator responsible for the Crown Prince of Southbay's voyage to the Great Continent.
After her return, war broke out again, and she was forced to flee her home as an outcast when the Lich-Lords built a portal, allowing orcs to invade. At first, she attempted to settle with her fellow refugees in Stormvale, but was soon driven out. When Stormvale itself fell under siege by the orcs, however, she joined forces with its evacuees. She served as an important ally and advisor to Haldric during his exodus to the Great Continent, translating the Book of Fire and Darkness such that Haldric was able to use the Ruby of Fire.
When Jessene and Haldric reached the Great Continent, she helped Haldric complete each of the Ka'lian's four quests, and discovered the elves' plan to betray their pact. She aided Haldric in deceiving the Lich-Lord Jevyan by hiding the Ruby of Fire inside a cave located in the Brown Hills. By the time of the establishment of the Kingdom of Wesnoth, she had earned Haldric's trust and admiration. The two were subsequently married, making Jessene the queen consort of Wesnoth. Jessene had multiple children, including Haldric II, the second King of Wesnoth.
|I am the Lady Jessene, a noble, a princess of the Wesfolk! I was betrayed by the Lich-Lords' dark pact with the orcs, in no small part because your fool Prince of Southbay convinced them that their immortal un-lives were over!|
|—Lady Jessene reveals her true identity to Prince Haldric.|
Jessene was born a princess of the Wesfolk, and had an understanding of the Old Wesfolk tongue, as well as an awareness of the dangers the Wesfolk had escaped from the land to the west. During the time of peace between the two peoples of the Green Isle, she became a companion and the navigator for the Crown Prince of Southbay. Despite a strong north wind over the Eastern Ocean, Jessene was able to compensate for this by sailing northeast.
During a voyage with the Crown Prince, she sailed with him in a single[a] ship to the east, receiving assistance from the merman Lord Typhon in return for steel. During her explorations, she had discovered the northernmost island of Morogor, slowly sinking into the ocean. Though the island had resources suitable for sea-faring, it was dominated by a number of hostile drakes, which were subsequently pacified. The most important discovery of the voyage, however, was the Great Continent, where the ship caught the attention of the elves. Her vital role in the journey was forgotten after the death of the Crown Prince, however.
|See to it that you trouble us no more, for the custom states that you may invoke surrender but once. If we meet again, I won't be so merciful.|
|—King Eldaric warns Lady Jessene never to return to Stormvale.|
When the new Crown Prince of Southbay declared war against the Wesfolk, the Lich-Lords eventually became desperate enough to open a gate to the Old Continent, from which they brought forth orcs against their enemies. As a result, the Wesfolk faced being eaten by the orcs or forced into slavery.
To avoid this fate, many of the Wesfolk, led by a masked Lady Jessene, fled as refugees to the Kingdom of Stormvale, seizing the Northern Keep near the time of the summer harvest. After threatening Prince Haldric and his men, Jessene was captured, but invoked the right of surrender. When questioned why she encroached on Stormvale's lands, she confessed her plight, and was made to leave.
Despite this, she later returned and settled in the mouth of the southern pass, blocking Haldric's flight south. Once again, Haldric managed to defeat her Wesfolk forces and capture her once more. As King Eldaric IV was about to have her beheaded, she pleaded for her life, offering to lend her services to the Stormvale evacuees. Eldaric allowed Haldric to decide whether or not to take up her offer.
|Plot branch : Haldric chose to spare Jessene's life|
|Haldric decided that Jessene would be useful for the future, so he spared Jessene's life. In turn, Jessene conceded command of her fighting men to Haldric. Refusing to reveal her identity, she chose to be called by the alias "Lady Outlaw". She accompanied Haldric and the people of Stormvale south, while Eldaric remained behind to cover their retreat.
As they proceeded through the southern pass, they encountered two orcish encampments blocking them. In the ensuing battle, Haldric's men discovered a nearby house where Burin the Lost, a dwarf, resided. Excited by the prospect of fighting orcs, Burin agreed to accompany Haldric and Jessene south. They eventually managed to kill the orcish warlords, arriving at a crossroads, the southeast path leading to the Swamp of Esten, while the southwest path led to the Midlands.
They eventually reached Oldwood Forest, where they discovered a group of woses under siege from the orcs. The leader of the woses, Elilmaldur-Rithrandil, demanded that the refugees prove their non-aggression by helping the woses kill the surrounding orcish chieftains, Tan-Gralg and Tan-Rugar. Afterwards, Haldric inquired as to whether Elilmaldur-Rithrandil could help fight the orcs, who instead offered Haldric the opportunity to seize a powerful artifact, sealed underground with a Lich-Lord some time prior. Jessene realized that the wose was referring to the Ruby of Fire. Haldric accepted the wose's offer, who then opened the catacombs beneath the nearby temple for Haldric's men to enter. Jessene refused to go with him, stating her discomfort with confronting a Lich-Lord. Haldric voiced confusion as to why the Wesfolk had allowed themselves to be led by the Lich-Lords, so she explained the ambition and thirst for power that had driven them to pursue necromancy. Haldric allowed Jessene instead to scout the path ahead.
In order to gain Haldric's trust, Jessene removed her mask and told him her true identity as a former noblewoman of the Wesfolk. She led Haldric to understand they shared a common plight, and encouraged him to continue onwards to Clearwater Port before winter arrived. Hadric considered her to speak the truth, and they left Oldwood Forest to continue east.
|Plot branch : Haldric chose to execute Jessene|
|Deciding that Jessene was too untrustworthy, he ordered her execution. Before this could be carried out, however, she managed to slip away, having to leave behind some of her gold. Having evaded capture, she explored the area ahead of Haldric's refugees, discerning that the road leading southwest to Southbay was blocked by orcs, whereas the road leading east to Clearwater Port was clear. She returned to Haldric immediately after he had found the Ruby of Fire, and informed him of her discoveries. Haldric voiced confusion as to why the Wesfolk had allowed themselves to be led by the Lich-Lords, so she explained the ambition and thirst for power that had driven them to pursue necromancy.|
|Haldric, I feel a strong foreboding. Have you noticed that anything that happens to be strong in the ways of magic can sense that ruby? Elilmaldur-Rithrandil felt it, and so did Lich-Lord Caror, now these two.|
|—Lady Jessene voices her concern regarding the Ruby of Fire.|
Though the orcs continued their pursuit, Haldric and Jessene eventually arived at Clearwater Port during the onset of winter, where Haldric alarmed to discover that there were no ships docked at the shore. Commander Aethyr informed him that the King of Clearwater and the bulk of his fighting men had perished in an attempt to drive back the orcs, leaving the survivors until the ice set to evacuate the city on three separate ships. Though Aethyr was initially questioned Haldric's judgement in aiding the Wesfolk, Jessene insisted that she and the Wesfolk would be needed for the fight ahead. Though orcs attacked on three fronts, Haldric's forces successfully held out long enough to board a ship with his men and set sail, though Aethyr remained behind, intending to fight to the death. On the advice of Lady Jessene, Haldric set sail not for Southbay, but instead for Fallen Lich Point to claim the Book of Fire and Darkness, a study of the Ruby of Fire, then to navigate to Southbay through a nearby sewer.
The refugees sailed along the southern shoreline until reaching Fallen Lich Point, where two orcish chieftains, Tan-Pulk and Ut'Tan-Grilg, were garrisoned. Jessene assured Haldric that she would be able to translate the text they sought. Amidst the ensuing battle, Haldric's forces discovered a monolith near the entrance of the Lich-Lord Caror's castle which kept Caror bound in stone, along with the Book of Fire and Darkness. Haldric uttered the inscribed incantation, thereby releasing Caror, who immediately sensed the Ruby of Fire. Upon killing Caror, Haldric's forces hastened northwards with the book and managed to enter the sewers, despite the orcs guarding the entrance.
As the refugees made their way into the sewers, they met banished twin Magi, Tinry the Red and Daellyn the Red, who were both able to sense the Ruby of Fire's presence. This worried Jessene, given that Elilmaldur-Rithrandil and the Lich-Lord Caror were also capable of sensing the Ruby of Fire. Haldric and his troops fought off bats, scorpions and subservient red magi until they reached the sewer exit on the other side, leading to the heart of Southbay.
Leaving the Green Isle
|Learn the lesson of my people. If we had fled here while even one of our great cities still stood we could have taken this Isle with ease. But we fought on until the bitter end. There can be no compromise with the orcs, their numbers are limitless, and you have no way to stop more orcs from coming.|
|—Lady Jessene warns King Addroran not to stay at Southbay.|
Haldric and Jessene emerged from the sewer and sought an audience with the King of Southbay, King Addroran IX. When Addroran saw Jessene, realizing she was one of the Wesfolk, he was initially hostile, but Haldric persuaded him that the Wesfolk had been of service. Jessene revealed her role as a navigator for the former Crown Prince of Southbay, and that unless they fled to the west, the orcs would kill them, a fate that had once befallen the majority of the Wesfolk. Seeing her words as truthful, Addroran conceded that the people of Southbay could flee eastwards, but only after winter had finished. During the winter, Jessene worked on translating the Book of Fire and Darkness.
Eventually, Jessene managed to complete her translation of the Book of Fire and Darkness, allowing Haldric to use the Ruby of Fire. Soon thereafter, a group of orcs launched an offensive against Southbay. As night fell on the battlefield, the Lich-Lord Jevyan emerged with his familiar and the reanimated corpse of the second Crown Prince of Southbay, Addroran's son. Jevyan was able to sense the power of the Ruby of Fire, and left a number of undead to aid the orcs in their siege. During that night, Lord Typhon returned with a number of mermen, seeking the first Crown Prince of Southbay. As before, Jessene negotiated a deal with him, and the mermen joined the fight against the orcs. With Typhon's mermen at their disposal, Haldric defeated the orcs and undead, including the second Crown Prince. Nevertheless, Jessene remained worried that Jevyan would now continue to seek the Ruby of Fire. Haldric agreed to return to Southbay to rescue survivors if possible before setting sail with the refugees to the east.
After some time at sea, Jessene navigated towards the volcanic island she'd previously visited on her previous voyage to the Great Continent, surprised to see that the drakes they had pacified had since returned, and were no less hostile than before. In order to be able to reprovision their ships in peace, Haldric attacked the drakes and killed their leaders. From a distance, the familiar of Jevyan kept watch, monitoring their activities.
After replenishing their supplies, Haldric continued east towards the Great Continent, but encountered particularly severe weather, causing the Eldaric to take on water, while most of the other ships had been separated. Typhon guided them to a small archipelago to regroup, warning them that nagas controlled the area. Nevertheless, Haldric managed to kill enough nagas to regroup all his ships, even resisting the colossal sea serpents that lurked in the waters. Jessene informed Haldric that after setting sail once more, they would next see land upon arriving at the Great Continent. Once again, Jevyan's familiar spied upon their efforts, this time being spotted by Jessene.
The four quests
|Well then, human. Each of us lords has a specific quest for you. If you complete them all you will be granted all of the plains in our domain and the hills south of the Great River, if not you will be forced to depart.|
|—Lord Aryad negotiates with Prince Haldric and Lady Jessene.|
The ships faced milder weather during the remaining week at sea, and eventually made landfall on at the Bay of Pearls on the western coast of the Great Continent in the summer. Immediately, they found they had disturbed a conflict between an elvish outpost and some mercantile dwarves, who both agreed to ally themselves against the refugees, believing them an invasion. Haldric's attempts at diplomacy fell upon deaf ears, and the two sides quickly engaged in battle, Jessene commenting on the irony of their situation. Just as the first warrior died, however, yet another elf, Lady Dionli, arrived and demanded an explanation for the events. Haldric and his close advisors, including Jessene, advisers were instructed to accompany Dionli to the Council of Elven Lords, while the remaining refugees disembarked. Upon seeing Jevyan's familiar watching from a distance, Jessene advised Haldric not to speak to the elves of Jevyan. Before departing with the elves, Haldric secretly asked Jessene to have one third of their ships to return to the Green Isle to search for survivors. Lord Typhon departed, leaving behind only the mermen who had already aided Haldric in combat.
Dionli brought them before the Council of Elven Lords, also known as the Ka'lian, situated in the Grey Woods. Haldric requested that his people be allowed to settle in the land between the elven forests and dwarven mountains. The Council concluded that such a concession would only be made if Haldric completed a quest from each of the four lords. Lord Logalmier requested that Haldric slay the dragon of the Green Swamp, along with its saurian minions. Lady Dionli requested that Haldric halt the operations of a group of coastal metal-trading saurians. Lord Aryad requested that travel to the Brown Hills to eradicate the inhabitant trolls. Finally, Lord El'Isomithir requested that Haldric travel to the Isle of Tears to end the curse upon the elves that once lived there.
|The order of the following events is contingent on in-game decisions.|
|Haldric killed the Dragon|
|Haldric travelled to the Green Swamp, wherein he found a small island, speculating that the dragon lived in the mountain thereupon. Surrounding the mountain were scores of saurians, as well as a number of bats and mudcrawlers. As Haldric engaged in battle, the dragon, Shek'kahan, emerged from the mountain and attacked Haldric's men. Eventually, Haldric managed to slay Shek'kahan and steal his gold. Jessene jokingly insisted her refusal to call Haldric by the honorary title "Dragonbane", before returning to the Ka'lian, where Logalmier remarked how impressed he was.|
|Haldric drove away the metal-trading saurians|
|Haldric travelled northwest to the beach where the saurian traders were at work. Haldric responded viscerally to the saurians calling his men "monsters", leading Jessene to remark on the irony of his response. Upon seeing the advancing humans, the saurians prepared themselves to hold the beach until their naga reinforcements arrived, sending mudcrawlers and scorpions against the humans. As Haldric's forces pushed closer to the saurians' base of operations, a band of nagas came to the aid of the saurians, hoping to protect their trading partnership. Nevertheless, Haldric cleared the beach of enemies, before returning with his men to the Ka'lian.|
|Haldric eradicated the trolls|
|An elven guide led Haldric's men to the entrance to the cave of trolls. Jessene cautioned that the trolls would be a challenging fight, due to the fact the elves had sent the humans there in the first place. Within the cave, they encountered a large number of trolls, as well as giant spiders. They managed to kill each of the four troll warriors occupying the caves, before ascending to the surface and returning to the Ka'lian.|
|Haldric ended the curse upon the Isle of Tears|
|Haldric returned with his men to their original landing point, from which they sailed to the Isle of Tears, covered in a thick fog. Haldric and some of his men landed on the island, organizing to be picked up once they had finished clearing the island. Jessene warned Haldric that the undead they would face would be unlike that they had fought previously. They fought against various undead forces, eventually managing to purge them from the island, although Haldric was cursed in the process. Jessene expressed her skepticism that the curses would hold any weight.|
Having completed the four quests, the Ka'lian honoured their word by granting the humans the plains to the north of the Great River, and the plains and hills to the south of the Great River. Logalmier warned Haldric to take care of the land, and also to be of aid to the elves in return for their generosity. Haldric agreed to these terms, but before the meeting could conclude, Aethyr unexpectedly appeared before the council, cryptically informing Haldric that some "old friends" had arrived. Understanding this to mean the orcs had followed them to the Great Continent, Haldric hurried away. While Jessene pretended to leave, she remained behind to spy upon the elves, suspecting that Aethyr had revealed too much.
Concealed from the elves, Jessene overheard the Ka'lian reveal that they had become aware of the orcish threat. After a brief conversation, the council resolved itself to stay out of the conflict, unless the humans were weakened by the orcs to the point of vulnerability, in which case, the elves would 'deal' with the survivors. Realizing the council's betrayal, left to catch up with Haldric and tell him what she had overheard.
|Even if we defeat him, the other Lich-Lords will follow. It's because of that ruby. If I were paranoid I’d say that our dear old 'tree-friend' might have known as much.|
|—Lady Jessene posits that killing Lich-Lord Jevyan will only be a temporary victory.|
Hastening west, Jessene found Haldric and his men preparing for battle with a number of orcish forces. She told Haldric of the elves' plan, emphasising the importance of winning the battle against the orcs soundly. She theorized that it was the Ruby of Fire which was luring the orcs, more of whom were likely to follow. Haldric instructred her to take the Ruby of Fire and hide it within the troll hole they had cleared earlier.
After carrying out her orders without issue, she returned to find Haldric attempting to clear the foggy shoreline of orcs and undead, whose presence was preventing the safe landing of a number of refugee ships. After eventually managing to vanquish the numerous foes, Jessene asked Haldric what he was planning to do, voicing her concern that Jevyan and his forces would continue their assault on the refugees until finding the Ruby of Fire. Haldric took Jessene aside to talk in private.
Once alone, Haldric informed Jessene of his plan to deceive Jevyan into believing that the elves had acquired the Ruby of Fire in a deal, such that the elves would bear the brunt of any further invasions. Jessene reminded him that he would be expected to honour his pact, yet he revealed that it was unimportant what other people thought of his honour, as he expected to be personally killed by Jevyan during the ruse. Jessene protested, and was joined by Aethyr who had been eavesdropping. The two of pleaded with Haldric not to sacrifice himself, who only relented when Aethyr insisted on taking Haldric's place in the deception. Before returning to their forces, Jessene reminded Haldric to spare the lives of enough orcs, such that their plan would succeed.
Jessene accompanied Haldric's forces south along the coastline until they reached Jevyan's primary landing point. Jessene told Jevyan of the fictitious exchange of the Ruby of Fire with the elves, who remained suspicious. In the ensuing battle, Aethyr died at the hands of Jevyan, revealing the forged treaty. Having successfully led Jevyan to believe their story, they eradicated three of the four orcish chieftains, as well as destroying Jevyan himself. As intended, they allowed a single chieftain to flee, hoping that he would convince the other orcs still at the Green Isle.
|Then take my hand, Jessene, if you won’t accept crown or kingdom. You have earned both. We can’t make this work without your people... and I don’t think I can make it work without you.|
|—King Haldric asks for Lady Jessene's hand in marriage.|
With Jevyan finally defeated, Jessene and Haldric laid Aethyr's body to rest. Haldric told his closest allies there of the forged treaty, making them pledge never to speak of it again. Realizing he was finally a king with a kingdom, Haldric pondered over what to name the land he had earned. Jessene proposed that it was to be named "Wesnoth" after the Wesfolk, and the fact that the elves had considered humans to be the "west-north". Haldric agreed, and subsequently asked Jessene if she would marry him. Despite her initial reluctance, Jessene accepted Haldric's proposal.
They were wedded, making Queen Jessene the first queen consort of Wesnoth. Though it was later suggested that their marriage was not tranquil, the two desired each other's company. Jessene bore Haldric multiple children, including Haldric II. Their interracial marriage was successful in convincing others to do the same, eventually fusing the two ethnic groups into a single kingdom.
|Haldric! I won't do it... I won't help. What is it with your kind, always rushing to a fool's death? Who'll lead these people? I... we need you alive.|
|—Lady Jessene pleads with Prince Haldric not to sacrifice himself.|
Prior to revealing her true identity to Haldric, Jessene maintained a consistent tone of scorn and bitterness, such as when she is questioned by Eldaric regarding her encroachment on Stormvale land. Though she did become less hostile with time, she maintained great pride in her heritage, and would be quick to defend the honour of her fellow Wesfolk.
Jessene was also a cunning advisor to Haldric, and offered him invaluable advice. Much of this was due to her extensive knowledge of Wesfolk history, but she was also discerning enough to first realize that it was the Ruby of Fire which lured Jevyan's forces. At various times, she expressed her frustration with Haldric's naïveté or bravado.
Jessene's sense of humour was regularly cynical and mocking, such as when she suggested that Haldric was insecure about the validity of his bloodline. She also regularly teased him for his hubris when and after slaying Shek'kahan. Despite this, she eventually expressed her devotion to him, and ultimately even agreed to become his wife.
- ^ Glimir, an elvish marshal, noted that there had only been a single ship which arrived at the Great Continent.
- Return to Oldwood, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Fallen Lich Point, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Southbay in Winter, The Rise of Wesnoth
- A Summer of Storms, The Rise of Wesnoth
- A Final Spring, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Peoples in Decline, The Rise of Wesnoth
- A New Land, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Fall, The Rise of Wesnoth
- A Harrowing Escape, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Swamp of Esten, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Midlands, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Oldwood, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Clearwater Port, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Sewer of Southbay, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Rough Landing, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Ka'lian, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Dragon, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Lizard Beach, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Troll Hole, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Cursed Isle, The Rise of Wesnoth
- A Spy in the Woods, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Vanguard, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Return of the Fleet, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Plan, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Rise of Wesnoth, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Epilogue, The Rise of Wesnoth
|Establishment of Wesnoth|| Queen consort of Wesnoth
|The Rise of Wesnoth|